Taking a close look at the individual components that make up riding and dressage
Dressage Dynamics – Bath Baumert Within riding there exists a fundamental conflict of interest: The rider needs to have control—her confidence depends on her ability to control the balance of her own body as well as that of her very powerful horse.
The horse, by nature, needs to feel free—free in both mind and body to express himself through physical movement.
In When Two Spines Align: Dressage Dynamics, author Beth Baumert, writer and editor at the internationally recognized equestrian magazine Dressage Today, resolves the freedom-control enigma by taking a close look at the individual components that make up riding and dressage. Beth provides insight gleaned from years of working with the best riders, trainers, and judges in the dressage world, and details practical ways riders can learn to harness the balance, energies, and forces at play when they’re in the saddle.
Readers will discover how to use “positive tension” and what the author calls the four physical “Powerlines”—Vertical, Connecting, Spiraling, and Visual—to become balanced and effective in the saddle.
Readers will then find ways to understand and manage the horse’s balance and coordination challenges, including the fact that he is inherently crooked and naturally inclined to do too much with his front end and not enough with his hind. Ultimately, the rider learns to regulate and monitor the horse’s rhythm, energy, flexion, alignment, bend, the height and length of his neck, and, finally, his line of travel by properly aligning her spine with his. When the center of gravity of a balanced rider is directly over the center of gravity of a balanced horse, that place where two spines align becomes the hub for rider and horse harmony—a dynamic and remarkable riding rapport that yields beautiful performance.
Author Notes: Beth Baumert trains horses and riders at Cloverlea Dressage LLC in Columbia, Connecticut, the farm she and her husband Alan have owned since 1973. They have two sons in New York City and Colorado, and a daughter, Grand Prix rider Jennifer Baumert, who operates Cloverlea Dressage LLC in Waxhaw, North Carolina, and Loxahatchee, Florida.
Beth’s primary interest and field of study has always been rider education.
For many years, she produced videos of the Aachen Dressage Show, as well as other instructional videos/DVDs, so American dressage riders could aspire to the European standard. She is a USDF-Certified Instructor and was the initial editor for Dressage Today magazine and has served as its technical editor for most of the years since the magazine’s beginning in 1994.
In that capacity, Beth is in constant contact with the best dressage riders in the world as they discuss and write about the technical aspects of dressage.
Beth is on the Board of Directors of The Dressage Foundation (TDF) and serves as President. TDF is on a mission to cultivate and provide financial support for the advancement of dressage in the United States.
Book Title: When Two Spines Align: Dressage Dynamics
Publisher: Trafalgar Square
Number of Pages: 248
Author: Beth Baumert